Thursday, February 27, 2020

"Right on Track" by Breakfast Club

Top 10 Alert!
One-Hit Wonder Alert!
Song#:  3056
Date:  03/14/1987
Debut:  85
Peak:  7
Weeks:  19
Genre:  Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  This NYC band had been around since 1979 and had gone through several personnel changes. By 1984, they had a more steady lineup and were able to get a contract with the NYC dance label ZE Records. The band recorded a single titled "Rico Mambo" that the label released. Unfortunately, the single didn't get anywhere and then the label closed up shop. This left the band starting over again. But one of its member's association with another artist helped draw attention to the band and they landed another contract, this time with MCA Records. They proceeded to record a self-titled debut album that featured this first single that was produced by Jimmy Iovine, who was more known for his association with rock artists like Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty. The song took off and made it to the Pop Top 10 while reaching #7 at Dance and #64 at R&B. The album would see some sales and eventually peak at #43. While they weren't major breakout stars, the song and album seemed to get them noticed by the Grammy folks and they were handed a nomination for Best New Artist. Unfortunately, this song would end up being their only major hit (a second single would be a minor chart entry). Because of that, they have been referred to as a one-hit wonder.

ReduxReview:  I remember when this song came out. Much was made of the fact that this was Madonna's former band (see below). I'm sure a big chunk of that buzz came via MCA, who were trying to play it up and cash in on the connection. I can't say I blame them. The facts were there, why not use them? But it did seem sort of a desperate way to promote. Luckily, the band sort of lived up to the hype with this tune, which, not surprisingly, had a Madonna-ish feel. It had a solid club groove with a catchy chorus. It was also enhanced by background vocals by Jocelyn Brown. The problem was that the rest of the album wasn't nearly as good and didn't contain anything as commercially viable as this hit. The band also got lucky that the hit came during a very, very weak year for new artists and they ended up with the Grammy nod. Most any other year they would have not even be in the conversation. Still, they pumped out one solid tune that's still a pretty good listen.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:   This band was initially formed by brothers Dan and Ed Gilroy. Not long after the band formed, Dan began dating a new transplant from Michigan who would later be know by a single name - Madonna. The band happened to need a drummer and Madonna quickly learned how to play and took the spot. However, she had higher ambitions and wanted to do lead vocals, which had been handled at the time by Dan. Madonna got to sing a little, but apparently she wanted the whole spotlight and Dan was not willing to give it up. Therefore, Madonna upped and left them both. She then formed her own band Emmy and the Emmys with her friend Stephen Bray. It wasn't too long before Madonna headed out on a solo career. Bray then joined up with Breakfast Club. After Madonna's career kicked off, Bray reconnected with her and they began working together again, which resulted in hits he co-wrote like "Angel" and "Into the Groove." Suddenly, Bray's profile was raised and that, in turn, helped the Breakfast Club. MCA Records apparently liked the Madonna connection and gave the band a chance (with some choice Madge-related marketing, of course).


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